Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, so much so that they don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, chia seeds do not need to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. You can purchase chia seeds at most health food stores. Chia resembles poppy seeds, although they are more oblong in shape and come in two colours, black chia and white chia. White chia is sometimes sold under the brand name “Salba”.
- Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, fiber, complete protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- They can absorb 9 times their volume in water, providing energy, prolonged hydration, and retention of electrolytes, which is perfect for runners and athletes.
- Chia seeds provide complete protein (perfect for vegetarians), fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
- 1 Tbsp. chia
- 3 Tbsp. filtered water
- Mix chia seeds and water together.
- Let sit 10-15 minutes, then stir into your recipe as you would an egg.
The term superfood is a relatively new one. Although there is no ‘set’ definition, the term refers to a class of exceptionally potent, nutrient-dense foods that act as both sustenance and medicine. Superfoods are rich in phytochemicals, which are special plant-based chemical compounds that have been noted to have disease-fighting properties, reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and alkaline the body’s blood and tissues. When foods are high in these phytochemicals, they may be eaten not only because they taste good, but because they are good for you too.
Although beans, leafy greens, and quinoa have been called “superfoods”, my list below concentrates on raw products and those that are particularly powerful, with concentrations of phytochemicals that exceed those of ordinary produce. Yes, they are typically more expensive, but that is because they are needed only in small quantities and have special properties for occasions when nothing else will do.
Look for all of these superfoods at your local health food shops and increasingly at quality grocery stores. Buy organic whenever possible.
Store in the fridge or freezer (see individual foods).